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Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip To New River Gorge National River

Priding itself on being wild and wonderful, West Virginia is an adventure seeker's paradise.  Just about 220 miles south of Pittsburgh you'll find the perfect summertime getaway in West Virginia's picturesque New River Gorge area. Famous for its whitewater rafting, trophy fishing waters and perhaps most of all for its annual Bridge Day base jumping each October, visitors come from all corners of the U.S. just to catch a glimpse of the magnificent vistas provided from the New River Gorge Bridge.
Pittsburgh to Fayetteville WV
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Getting There

The drive from Pittsburgh to Fayetteville, W.V. is simple. Take the Parkway West/376 to Interstate 79 south toward Morgantown. Once you've reached Morgantown, queue up your John Denver tracks and continue south on I-79 from the 68 east interchange for approximately 90 miles. When you arrive at exit 57 take it and head south once again this time on U.S. Route 19 toward Beckley, W.V., through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. You'll arrive in Fayetteville about an hour later.

New River Outfitter
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New River Outfitters
P.O. Box 968
Crab Orchard, WV 25827

Price: $385 group rate for a day trip

The tumbling, oxygen-rich waters of the New River are not only beautiful, they're an ideal ecosystem for fish and aquatic organisms.  The very same characteristics that provide such scenic beauty to the area also produce massive smallmouth bass and walleye. For anglers looking to hook that fish of a lifetime, New River Outfitters is the guide service you'll want to hire for this trip. Bring up to 10 guests for the perfect day out on the river.

Related: Fall in Love with the Laurel Highlands

Whitewater Rafting
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River Expeditions
900 Broadway Ave.
Oak Hill, WV 25901
(800) 463-9873

Price: from $100

Whitewater rafters will delight in pulse-pounding excitement on the class IV rapids of the New River. Rafting the New River can take on a number of meanings. For the hardcore thrill seeker who lives to ride rough water, there is a three-day package that will test your skills on Class IV rapids. For the novice or groups with young children, River Expeditions offers much gentler options.

Apex Base
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Apex Base
126 Old Post Office Road
Boulder, CO 80302
(435) 650-2118

The 878-foot-high New River Gorge Bridge is closed to pedestrian traffic 364 days out of the year because an average of 450 people leap off of it annually. Base jumping here has grown wildly popular over its more than 30 year history and attracts companies like Apex Base all the way from Boulder, Colo. To qualify for a base jump, there is a long list of requirements you must first complete to be eligible. If you find yourself in the unlikely situation where you have completed all the per-requisites and would like to attend one of Apex Bases training courses, contact the company by phone or on the website to get started.

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Riffrafters Campground
Laurel Creek Road
Fayetteville, WV 25840

Price: $20 per night per person

Travelers of every kind can find the camping experience they are seeking close to the New River at Riffrafters campground. Accommodating RVs, tent campers and even renting it own quaint wooden cabins at exceptional rates, this quiet, accessible options is perfect for a great night's rest during your River Gorge weekend. Enjoy clean showers and friendly staff for a camping getaway that won't have you trying to get away.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Pies and Pints
219 West Maple Ave.
Fayetteville, WV 25840
(304) 574-2200

A local gem dishing up unbelievable specialty pizzas and craft beers on tap, Pies and Pints is the cherry on top of any visit to Fayetteville, W.V. Enjoy awesome appetizers and a decent wine list as well. Expect pies like you've never had, from Cuban pork or black bean to grape, and service that just can't be beaten in the area.

Related: Top Hiking Spots

Marcel Tourdot is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh. His work can be found at

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police)


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